Riverbank Success Stories: Ryan, 23 How Fear and Anxiety Transformed Into Curiosity and Optimism

Before Riverbank House, merely existing as an active alcoholic felt like a 24/7 job. Real employment or working towards any kind of a future interfered with my drinking.  I lied, I cheated, I manipulated, and I stole, mainly from my parents and those closest to me.  I felt worthless, hopeless and alone.  Addiction destroyed every healthy relationship I had ever developed and burned almost every bridge between me and the future my parents had dreamed for me. My parents raised a musically talented extrovert with people skills and a sense of humor, but then addiction turned me into a hopeless drunk whose only concern was more alcohol.  In the process, I hurt everyone around me.visualcage

By the end of each day I would go to sleep hoping that I wouldn’t wake up.

Today, thanks to the spiritual program I’ve developed at the Riverbank House, I’ve sustained over a year and a half of continuous sobriety. I wake up every day to the passionate life of self-improvement and growth and purpose. I have countless friends.  My sense of humor has returned, and my fear and anxiety for the future has been transformed into optimism and curiosity.

Riverbank House feels like home. The staff never gives up.  Whenever I’ve needed to talk, someone with experience and encouragement has always been available and equipped with appropriate suggestions and insight to tackle any crisis I’ve faced.  The Riverbank community supports me — wherever I am in my recovery, and I will always cherish that example of love and compassion.

image (19)Today, the relationships lost as a result of my drinking have been repaired.  The bond with my family is strong and healthy.  My friendships have worth. I’ve fulfilled a dream I had prior to my addiction:  editing and writing the music for a feature length documentary film.

And I give back today. I work full time at Riverbank House, helping other alcoholics and drug addicts one day at a time with the same compassion and encouragement that was extended to me as a resident.

Strength of community at Riverbank House is arguably one of the largest contributing factors to my success. I’ve been shown and invited into a brotherhood that lets me be part of something greater than myself.   I’ve seen the alternative to alone and apart. In brotherhood, I’ve been taught what it means to belong.